Orthopedic Treatment For Shoulder Impingement

by Administrator 20. May 2015 04:11

Shoulder Impingement Syndrome, also known as Swimmer’s Shoulder, is a condition where the tendons of the rotator cuff muscles are intermittently trapped and compressed. The tendons become irritated and inflamed as they pass beneath the acromion, resulting in pain and loss of movement of the shoulder.


  • Repetitive overhead movements
  • Tendonitis
  • Bursitis
  • Arthritis 
  • Osteoporosis
  • Injuries
  • Bone spurs under the acromion
  • Swelling or thickening of the rotator cuff tendon
  • Overuse
  • Inflammation of the fluid-filled sac, bursa


  • Difficulty in movement of shoulder, especially raising above 90 degrees
  • Sudden pain when the arms are extended above the head
  • Weakness in shoulder
  • Minor pain, present both with activity and at rest

Risk Factors

  • Older age
  • Sports like swimming, throwing, tennis, weightlifting, golf, volleyball and gymnastics
  • Overhead work activities including painting, stocking shelves and mechanical repair


In order to diagnose Shoulder Impingement the orthopedic surgeon may conduct a thorough physical examination. To measure the range of motion of your shoulder, the doctor can move your arm in several different directions to test your arm strength. The surgeon may also review the patient’s medical history to confirm the cause of the condition. He may also perform certain imaging tests, such as X-rays or MRI and devise a treatment plan after determining the severity of the condition.


  • Rest: The patient may be advised to take sufficient rest and avoid overhead activity to allow the injury to heal.
  • Ice and heat packs: The doctor can prescribe applying ice or heat pack to the affected shoulder to ease the pain.
  • Medications and injections: The orthopedic doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling and pain.
  • Physical therapy: Physical therapy aims at strengthening the joints and the rotator cuff, thus relieving it from stiffness. Exercises and limited range of motion help in stabilization and normalization of the shoulder area.

If the condition is severe and non-surgical treatments do not offer relief the surgeon can recommend surgery. The aim of the surgery is to create more space in the rotator cuff by removing the inflamed portion of bursa. This is followed by post-surgical care and rehabilitation treatment.